Update: US Central Command confirmed that three drones were fired at US soldiers over 24 hours. Two drones were successfully intercepted while one crashed and caused “minor injuries” to coalition forces.
Two Iraqi Shia militias used drones to target bases in Iraq where American soldiers are deployed. On the same day as the drone attacks, several militias announced a plan to coordinate support for Gaza. The soldiers were targeted shortly after it was reported that an Israeli airstrike killed 500 people at a hospital in Gaza.
In western Iraq, two drones targeted the al-Asad Airbase. American officials say the drones were intercepted and report no casualties. Kataib Hezbollah issued a statement suggesting it was planning similar attacks.
Ahmad “Abu Hussein” al-Hamidawi, the leader of Kataib Hezbollah, said last week that the drone attacks will continue until US soldiers leave Iraq. “Our missiles, drones, and special forces are ready to direct qualitative strikes at the American enemy in its bases and disrupt its interests if it intervenes in this battle,” he explained. “These evil people must leave the country. Otherwise, they will taste the fire of hell in this world before the afterlife.” Hamidawi went on to threaten to strike Israel as well.
Kataib Hezbollah is a major militia within the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF). The PMFs received support from Iran and were crucial to defeating the Islamic State in Iraq. The PMF, along with Hezbollah in Lebanon and Shia militias in Syria, make up what Tehran deems the Axis of Resistance.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian warned on Monday that Israel killing civilians in Gaza would cause the Axis of Resistance to respond. “Time is running out very fast. If the war crimes against the Palestinians are not immediately stopped, other multiple fronts will open and this is inevitable,” he said.
The New Arab reports that officials from the Iranian Quds Force met with some Iraqi militias early in the week to discuss their role in the coalition amid the war on Gaza. According to a source that spoke with the outlet, “The discussions primarily centered on the current situation in Gaza, the possibility of escalation in southern Lebanon with Hezbollah, and the role of the so-called Islamic resistance axe in Iraq.”
A second militia claims to have targeted US soldiers at the al-Harir airbase in northern Iraq. The Pentagon has not confirmed the second attack. “We announce the targeting by a drone of the Harir American occupation base in northern Iraq at exactly twelve o’clock in the afternoon on Wednesday,” a statement by the Islamic Resistance in Iraq said.